Day 26: Stop Playing Tight And Scared
The biggest mistake most people make is to let how they play dictate their attitude. If the ball is going where they want it to go, they have a good attitude. If it isn't, their attitude is bad. They start thinking badly. When you're playing well, it's fine to go with the flow. But when you're playing badly, you need the discipline to control your thoughts and think only about the way you want to play. If your mind is truly in the present, you don't play "tight and scared." You don't get overly excited or discouraged on the golf course. Excitement would suggest that you're thinking about the outcome of the round. Discouragement would suggest that you're both mired in the past mistakes you've made and worried about the final result. You don't pay attention to how others in the field are playing, and if you happen to see a leader board, it means almost nothing to you. Thinking about how others are playing is another form of thinking about the future, because the only reason you could care about how they're playing is a premature interest in how the tournament will end–the result. Golfers who stay in the present just keep playing the shot at hand until they run out of holes. Then they add it up.